Define the Problem
Do you have a critical problem such as counterfeits in your supply chain or responsible sourcing requirements you’re not sure how to meet? We work with you to define key issues, and determine how Materialytics Analysis (MA) can give you answers that will be most effective in solving your problem.
Once a project is decided upon, a pilot study of your materials is conducted at our in-house lab. This step allows us to optimize MA for your specific needs, as well as provide proof of concept, demonstrating the effectiveness of MA using your own materials.
With knowledge produced from this study, we will work with you to customize operational processes that fit within your organization. We do not conduct ongoing analysis for clients in-house, but design a system for private use within your own facilities. MA becomes a practical and effective tool, giving you greater control and understanding of the materials and products you oversee every day.
The final step is implementation. We will ensure that the necessary equipment is installed, your technicians trained, and routine analysis is working smoothly. Materialytics provides continuous support and advice after implementation. Once implemented MA is a simple and fast way to manage ongoing operational challenges.
The insertion of counterfeit parts into the supply chain is a multi-billion dollar per year problem affecting many industries. The practice is both life-threatening and expensive. Problem parts enter the supply chain at many points, their trails covered by false documentation. Additionally, counterfeiters are constantly developing new methods of disguising their imitation, used, and re-marked products.
Materialytics Analysis combats this problem by examining the materials themselves, not markings or additives, to determine authenticity. Fully implemented, MA can analyze a questionable component in seconds for pennies.
Maintaining consistent quality in manufacturing can be difficult and costly. Production processes and conditions cannot always be controlled reliably, necessitating constant testing that may be intrusive, and is itself subject to inconsistency.
Typically, testing with MA removes a sub-microgram amount of material from the surface of an object, making it practical to test metal parts directly instead of testing coupons that are associated with those parts. Direct testing may reduce tracking errors, speed the process, and provide information not previously available. Early in the manufacturing process and repeatedly if necessary, critical parts can be compared with product that proved to be “good.” Parts that “fail” can be eliminated from further expensive work, and this knowledge can allow improvement of the manufacturing process.
Materialytics Analysis can be used to screen materials, parts, and sub-assemblies from suppliers to assure consistent quality before resources are spent on assembly or use.
Proving Mineral Provenance
Certain commodities critically important to industry such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (TTTG) are sometimes mined from illegal locations. Materials such as gemstones, including diamond, ruby and sapphire are at times counted among “conflict minerals.” Industry is increasingly required to comply with regulatory legislation such as Dodd-Frank and agreements like The Kimberley Process.
Compliance has been difficult because there has never been a reliable way to examine an isolated sample of material, and determine where it came from, just from the material itself, not relying on potentially false documentation. Materialytics Analysis solves this problem.
Materialytics Analysis relies on comparison of unclassified samples with well-classified reference samples. To answer the question: “did this sample of from Mina A or Mine B or…Minen it must know what samples from those mines are like. We create a Reference Collection (a statistically significant bare minimum of 30 samples) from each site, and analyze those samples to create a Reference Database that contains the signature of the site. (Of course, if your question is “Did this sample come from our mine or did it not?” you need a Reference Collection only from that mine, making collection simple.) The odds are low that MA can identify just any old rock pulled off the street, unless somebody has built a reference collection from the site at which that random stone originated. We have developed rigorous protocols for sample collection, allowing us to train and certify collectors.
Because our provenance results are remarkably accurate and our methods are non-traditional, we receive a lot of questions regarding the science behind it. For me detailed information please contact us at Contact@materialytics.com.
We have run laboratory pilot tests on a wide variety of man-made and natural materials with promising results. The data indicate that with sufficiently robust Reference Collections and Reference Databases, almost any material can be classified using our Quantagenetics® data analysis. Of course, the larger the Database, the bigger the investment required. Determination of “good applications” depends upon specific knowledge of the practices and problems of many business, government, and social organizations.
To date, three applications of major importance have been identified and explored: counterfeit detection, quality control, and conflict mineral detection. Materialytics continues to look into additional applications. Please contact us if you are interested in an application that is not mentioned here.
For more information on how Materialytics Analysis works, check out the Materialytics Analysis page.